In October, head coach Claude Julien stated that the Bruins would be a better playoff than regular season team this year. Let’s hope he’s right. It’s not so much that the Bruins have played poor hockey; currently 5th in the East; but perhaps they finally have been overcome with key injuries – Bergeron, Ference, Lucic and now Savard.
Milan Lucic did return last night against Chicago,but from my seat in section 309, he looked labored and lost out there. On many occasions he was unable to join the rush and often struggled to make it to the bench. I was disheartened to see that he had no interest in the physical game last night; it’s not as though that could be attributed to “rust” since there’s no real skill involved. This showed me that his ankle is still in rough shape. I was left wondering why he came back at all, but I guess his services, however limited, are needed. I still expect him to play tomorrow, but only due to the rash of other injuries on the team.
After losing Savard last night, Boston was still able to get the jump on the NHL leading Blackhawks, but by the end of the period Chicago’s incredible skill became apparent and they completely turned the tables on the Black and Gold. Chicago reminded me a lot of last year’s Bruins team during their remarkable December; fast, physical, impossible to move off the puck and extremely opportunistic. They can really bring it.
As of right now, and notion of a Stanley Cup in Boston hardly bears mentioning and will remain so until the Bruins can show a sustained effort for a 15 or so game stretch at some point. Perhaps that point will never come. Boston will make the playoffs and with (fingers crossed) everyone healthy, perhaps, perhaps they can prove their coach right and make a run into early June. As of right now, all I have to look forward to is next year’s number draft pick, which currently sits at No. 3. Oh, and by the way, is anyone surprised that Phil Kessel has been called out up in Toronto for not playing hard enough? Anyone with a brain could have seen that one coming.
Sources are confirming that Phil Kessel has been traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Specifics have not been confirmed, but it appears that the compensation is two 1st round picks and a 2nd rounder as well.
I will amend this posting as I receive more info… More info received!
Phil Kessel has been traded to Toronto. He has reportedly signed a 5-year deal worth $27 million. The Bruins will receive two first round picks (one in 2010, the other in 2011) and a second round pick (2010).
And so it ends…sort of. Time will tell who comes out the winner in this deal.
I believe it’s Boston. Boston already has a glut of young (or not-so-old) talent on the team (Krecji, Wheeler, Lucic, Tuuka!, Savard, etc…) Toronto is in serious need of a rebuild, therefore tying up $27 million and giving up high draft picks has the danger of backfiring. Remember, Kessel has yet to play 82 games in a year and has only reached 60 POINTS once.
I’ll be interested to hear what the talk radio personalities in Boston have to say. (Actually, I’m just glad that they are talking hockey at all around here!)
All indications are that disgruntled winger Phil Kessel will be traded by Saturday to either Toronto or Nashville. The (in)famous Eklund, rumor spreader extraordinaire, is reporting that Nashville is “closing in” on a deal tonight. I’ll believe it when I see it. Even with the questionable validity of the Nashville rumor, multiple sources are confirming that he will be moved sometime this week.
If you have lived in New England for any period of time, you know that the fans and media won’t let this situation die after Kessel leaves town; they will question the move — much more than they questioned Patriots coach Bill Belichick for trading Richard Seymour — and admonish the ownership for reverting to the all-too-farmiliar Jeremy Jacobs style of team management: trading away stars in order to save money.
Kessel is great player, but he’s soft, which is why he will never achieve true elite status. Players like Ovechkin and Crosby will not only score 40 goals per year, but they will hit you. They will fight you. Kessel on the other hand, needs protection. He just doesn’t fit into Head Coach Claude Julien’s gameplan of tight checking and body-sacrificing.
Peter Chiarelli, Boston’s general manager, has made enough good personel decisions to warrant the trust of the Garden faithful. I’m sure that whomever (or whatever) he recieves in return for Kessel will be more than adequate.
Now we wait…
Word on the street is that Phil Kessel is no longer actively seeking a to re-sign with the Bruins.
Is this a huge problem? No.
Sure, I would love to see Kessel in Black & Gold for the rest of his career, but he’s not at the price that he is demanding. He’s simply not worth it. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good player and boy, can he score goals, but as I said two weeks ago, I think he is simply too fragile to warrant $5M/year — especially with a bum shoulder.
The Bruins should trade him for a high quality, reliable, scoring defenseman, *ahem*, Tomas Kaberle anyone? During last years playoff series against Carolina, the Bruins clearly missed the presence of Andrew Ferrence and Aaron Ward. It was Boston’s inability to get the puck out of their own end which wore them down and cost them the series. The team will continue to score goals with or without Kessel; everyone saw how important quality defensive help can be.
Kessel is a great scorer with natural offensive instincts, but he needs to get over himself. It’s just his third year in the league, and he’s yet to score forty goals in a season — I know he had mono last year — and he only has one move; that toe-drag-inside wrist-shot thing he does. Defenders had that figured out by December. I went to fifteen games last year and I’ve never seen one player have so many shots blocked.
That said, he’s still a good player, and the B’s need to move him while his value is still high.